Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Yakama Jones Is A Role Model For Education in Sierra Leone


Education in Sierra Leone: Local School Gets Support from Yak Jones Foundation

Leading Sierra Leonean economist turned education advocate Dr. Yakama Manty Jones spent her Thursday lunch break distributing goodie bags at a local school. Her Foundation runs learning labs to improve education in Sierra Leone. This Saturday, thousands of class six primary school pupils will take the National Primary School Examinations (NPSE), but those at SM Broderick Municipal School will have a leg up thanks to the Yak Jones Foundation.

Since 2021, Dr. Yakama Jones’ Foundation has trained, hired, and dispatched learning coaches to SM Broderick Municipal School. The Foundation runs six afterschool reading clubs to improve quality education in Sierra Leone throughout the school year. Yak Jones education interventions support the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in Sierra Leone’s findings that students need extra help to meet their learning needs. In 2021, the Ministry’s national assessment evaluated students’ baseline competencies in literacy and numeracy. The assessment revealed that “learners’ memorized but they could not develop strategies to find answers to problems.” Yak Jones’ educational support to schools like SM Broderick offers the recommended innovative instructional and pedagogical solutions to improve learning outcomes. 

“We have pupils that started primary school directly from home, so they skipped early childhood education so they came indirectly to class one,” said Dr. Jones.

“Their foundation learning didn’t exist so we work with them to build what they missed.”

Yak Jones Foundation helps students prepare for National Primary School Examinations (NPSE) in Sierra Leone

To meet student’s learning needs, the Foundation offers additional support for exam preparation every year before the NPSE. Twice a week for a month, learning coaches help students revise for their subjects, that education makes all the difference. 

“I had a problem with reading, but now I can read and write properly,” said 11-year-old Hajaratu Bockarie, a class sixer.

She’s not the only one who says the additional support from Yak Jones has made a difference. Mariwan Rogers, 12, also in Class Six, said he struggled with mathematics. The coaches gave him one-on-one tutoring, and he feels more confident about his exams. The coaches work with SM Broderick’s teachers, making their work easier. 

“They have them assist in polishing what we have taught throughout the year,” said Ousman Bangura, a senior teacher.

Yak Jones Foundation goes beyond learning support. On the final day of revisions, Dr. Jones showed up at SM Broderick school with gifts. Each student in class six received an exam day goodie bag. The bags contain 2B pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pens, biscuits, juice, and water.  NPSE Exams mean pressure for students; the gifts bag offers a little relief.

“It’s exciting to see how they have been growing and making progress,” said Dr. Jones.

As SM Broderick students take their exams, they are better prepared because of the Yak Jones Foundation. 

What’s next for the Yak Jones Foundation

The Foundation will kick off its annual education drive with a reading comprehension and quiz competition on May 25, 2024. Yak Jones Foundation invites heads of schools to register two class five or class six students to compete.

The Foundation is also asking for donations to help continue their programs. They must buy learning materials and books, train and hire more coaches, and expand their library support program. To support the Yak Jones Foundation’s quality education initiatives in Sierra Leone Bank, you can donate via PayPal to Funds can also be sent to Union Trust Bank A/C: 210-056076-01 or via mobile money at +232 30150796 (AfM) or +232 79121480 (OM).

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